As Salaam alaykum wa rahma tu’ala wa barakatu.
Brothers and sisters we must not loose sight of our identity as Muslims and Muslimahs. Where do we draw this identity? Do we draw it from the culture we are in? Living in the western culture we are constantly bombarded by Shaitan urging us to all kinds of sin. We are constantly prodded to live for materialistic things and things that take our heart and mind away from Allah (SWT). And most sad of all, constantly, everyday I see people treat each other badly. I see rudeness and impatience and anger and enmity. What kind of society are we following? I heard recently that a study was done where it was estimated that we are exposed to 90 thousand advertisements every day. Violence is prevalent, and not just wars and things far away, but in our own lives. People bicker and mistrust one another, and people cheat and steal and lie. But we are human and we do make mistakes and where do we turn? How do we realize our identity and be the kind and compassionate people we are supposed to be as Muslims?
We have an ever present guide and ideal to live up to. And it is that ideal and example of Rasul Allah (saw) that we should be drawing our identity as Muslims from.
Rasul Allah (saw) is described in hadith as:
“Al-Mutawakkil” (who depends upon Allah). You are neither discourteous, harsh Nor a noisemaker in the markets And you do not do evil to those Who do evil to you, but you deal With them with forgiveness and kindness. Allah will not let him (the Prophet) die till he makes straight the crooked people by making them say: “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,” With which will be opened blind eyes And deaf ears and enveloped hearts.’ ”
And about how to behave when on a journey:
Malik related to me from Abu Ubayd, the mawla of Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik from Khalid ibn Madan who attributed it to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “Allah, the Blessed and Exalted is kind and loves kindness. He is pleased with it and helps you with it as long as it is not misplaced. When you ride dumb beasts, stop them in their stopping places, and quicken their pace when the land is barren. Travel by night, because the land is traveled faster at night than it is during the day. Beware of pitching tents on the road, for it is the path of animals and the abode of snakes.”
My friends we are all on a journey on this life. Should we not then behave just as well to those around us in our every day life as we would towards beasts?
Towards each other especially and especially in these hard conditions.
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “One Muslim should do six acts of kindness to another: he/she should salute him/her when he meets him/her, accept his/her invitation when he/she gives one, say ‘Allah have mercy on you’ when he/she sneezes, visit him/her when he/she is ill, follow his/her bier when he/she dies, and like for him/her what he/she likes for him/herself.”
And in another hadith:
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “Every act of kindness is sadaqah, and kindness includes meeting your brother/sister with a cheerful face and pouring water from your bucket into their vessel.”
We must stop doing things to each other that nullifies our identity as muslims. We must treat each other with kindness and with the charity that Rasul Allah (saw) has shown us and has described to us.
Allah (SWT) has shown us just one tiny part of the divine kindness that awaits us in the afterlife:
Rasul Allah (saw) said: There are one hundred (parts of) mercy of Allah and He has sent down out of these one part of mercy upon the jinn and human beings and the insects and it is because of this (one part) that they love one another, show kindness to one another and even the beast treats its young one with affection, and Allah has reserved ninety-nine parts of mercy with which He would treat His servants on the Day of Resurrection.
And this kindness, this path of virtue is not necessarily easy. Especially with all the examples around us and the people encouraging us to the “easy path” the path of rejection and doubt in Allah (swt)
Allah (swt) talks about this in the Holy Quran, he tells us that many times we choose not to take this righteous road al aqaba, the road that is correct but sometimes harder but listen, there is good news in taking that road! (90:12-17)
وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْعَقَبَةُ
أَوْ إِطْعَامٌ فِي يَوْمٍ ذِي مَسْغَبَةٍ
يَتِيمًا ذَا مَقْرَبَةٍ
أَوْ مِسْكِينًا ذَا مَتْرَبَةٍ
ثُمَّ كَانَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ
Wama adraka ma al’aqaba
Aw it’a-amun fee yawmin thee masghabat
Yateeman tha maqraba
Aw miskeenan tha matraba
Thumma kana mina allatheena ‘amanoo watawasaw bialssabri watawasaw bialmarhama
And what will explain to you the path that is steep?
(It is:) freeing the bondman;
Or the giving of food in a day of your own privation
To the orphan with claims of relationship,
Or to the indigent (down) in the dust.
Then will you be of those who believe, and enjoin patience, (constancy, and self-restraint), and enjoin deeds of kindness and compassion.
A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well he descended into it, drank his fill and came up. Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out, trying to lick up mud to quench its thirst. The man saw that the dog was feeling the same thirst as he had felt so he went down into the well again and filled his shoe with water and gave the dog a drink. God forgave his sins for this action.’ The Prophet (saw) was asked: ‘Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?’ He said, ‘There is a reward for kindness to every living thing.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adam on every day the sun rises.” He was then asked: “From what do we give charity every day?” The Prophet Replied: “The doors of goodness are many…enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf (until you understand them), leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one’s arms — all of these are charity prescribed for you.
Brothers and sisters, we should leave here today and pledge ourselves to be among those that choose that difficult path. That in spite of what we see around us we should hold on to our Muslim identity. Teach our children to do that as well. That we should follow the example that Allah (swt) has given us in the Qur’an and the acts of Rasul Allah (saw) which are an exemplar of this behavior. Treat each other and other people with kindness and patience and sincerity in these things. After all, we do not know when we die or why we die but we can choose to die as Muslims, secure in our aman and our iman and our taqwa allah.
Wa allahu alim.